Balancing our Budget

Mayor Louie A. Lujan , City of La Puente

As Mayor, Louie has worked with his colleagues, the city’s management staff to put together a balanced budget and an operating and capital expenditures plan that addresses our priorities to meet the service demands and requirements of the community. The budget continues his commitment to financial stability, strategic planning of capital improvement programs, and appropriate staffing levels to fulfill the increased service needs of our community. 

Over the past year, our community has been faced with challenges of:

  • Maintaining our high standard of services;
  • Controlling expenditures across the board;
  • Completing capital improvement projects, including the Community Center, Youth Learning Activity Center, Nature Education Center, and La Puente Bowling Alley project;
  • Preparing to implement the Governmental Accounting Standard Board’s (GASB) Statement No. 45;
  • Financing the on-going sewer construction, maintenance and redevelopment projects.

During these tough economic times, we have experienced slower growth and leveling of revenues, including property tax, sales tax, licenses and permits, and charges for services, mainly due to a reduction in consumer spending coupled with what appears to be one of the more significant economic downturns in recent years. However, the
costs of providing service to the residents and businesses are rising, especially, the cost of public safety.

Balacing our budget during these tough economic times is critical.  Louie, along with his Council colleagues and staff, has developed a strategy for preparing a balanced budget while maintaining levels of service the community expects. The key components of this strategy are as follows:

  • Maintain a conservative approach in projecting revenues by incorporating external factors
  • affecting the federal, state, and local economy;
  • Minimize general fund appropriations by establishing new revenue sources or trying to
  • supplement local resources through the use of grants or donations where possible;
  • Freeze personnel vacancies as a temporary strategy;
  • Allocate appropriate personnel costs to individual functions using corresponding time worked;
  • Provide funding to equip, run, and maintain the Community Center, Youth Learning Activity
  • Center, and Nature Education Center;
  • Prepare annual long term financial planning for financial stability and predictability;
  • Enhance services and savings through reorganization and/or reclassification;
  • Attempt to get capital expenditures reimbursed by the funding agencies;
  • Try to maintain an adequate level of reserves for contingencies;
  • Continue to work on the La Puente Bowling Alley project for completion.  

Our communities are are facing many of the same budget challenges as the state—dropping tax revenue and rising energy costs and we must balance our budget with our own revenues.  Louie will continue to work with state and local officials to ensure that the state closes their budget deficit with state revenues, not by borrowing local and transportation revenues.  Balancing our local budgets becomes extremely important as two state balanced budgets (the Governor’s and the Budget Conference Committee) have been proposed without raiding local government funds and transportation funds. A compromise is within reach such that Local Funds are kept Local. Louie has joined his colleagues in the California League of Cities to ensure that balancing the state budget with state funds is achieved.  He vows to work towards preventing the state from taking local government and transportation funds that are needed for vital community services, infrastructure and community revitalization to balance the state budget deficit.